Biofortified indica rice attains iron and zinc nutrition dietary targets in the field

Kurniawan Trijatmiko, Conrado Dueñas, Nikolaos Tsakirpaloglou, Lina Torrizo, Felichi Arines, Cheryl Adeva, Jeanette Balindong, Norman Oliva, Maria Sapasap, Jaime Borrero, Jessica Rey, Perigio Francisco, Andy Nelson, Hiromi Nakanishi, Enzo Lombi, Elad Tako, Raymond Glahn, James Stangoulis, Prabhjit Chadha-Mohanty, Alexander JohnsonJoe Tohme, Gerard Barry, Inez Slamet-Loedin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    242 Citations (Scopus)


    More than two billion people are micronutrient deficient. Polished grains of popular rice varieties have concentration of approximately 2 μg g-1 iron (Fe) and 16 μg g-1 zinc (Zn). The HarvestPlus breeding programs for biofortified rice target 13 μg g-1 Fe and 28 μg g-1 Zn to reach approximately 30% of the estimated average requirement (EAR). Reports on engineering Fe content in rice have shown an increase up to 18 μg g-1 in glasshouse settings; in contrast, under field conditions, 4 μg g-1 was the highest reported concentration. Here, we report on selected transgenic events, field evaluated in two countries, showing 15 μg g-1 Fe and 45.7 μg g-1 Zn in polished grain. Rigorous selection was applied to 1,689 IR64 transgenic events for insert cleanliness and, trait and agronomic performances. Event NASFer-274 containing rice nicotianamine synthase (OsNAS2) and soybean ferritin (SferH-1) genes showed a single locus insertion without a yield penalty or altered grain quality. Endosperm Fe and Zn enrichment was visualized by X-ray fluorescence imaging. The Caco-2 cell assay indicated that Fe is bioavailable. No harmful heavy metals were detected in the grain. The trait remained stable in different genotype backgrounds.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number19792
    Pages (from-to)Art: 19792
    Number of pages13
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2016


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